Christmas Week Guest Blog and Giveaway DAY 2: Chanukah Lights -- The Perfect Gifts for Writers by Michele Lang
UPDATE: The winner of a signed copy of THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE is Chelsea B.! Congrats! Please send your physical address to contests(AT)knightagency.net.
It’s that magical time of the year again! This past Friday marked the first night of Chanukah, and since I was a kid I’ve had eight nights of latke-eating, dreidl-spinning, chocolate-nomming, and present-opening – and, best of all, candle-lighting. I’ve always loved the candles the best, always and forever.
However, the Chanukah presents I got as a kid did not inspire shock and awe – Chanukah is traditionally a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar. One year I got a peanut – a peanut! It was part of a biology kit where you could sprout the peanut and see the root growth or something – I never learned the details because, I am sorry to say, I ate it.
Another year I got Mexican jumping beans, and I had the sense to at least not eat them. But they were dud beans and didn’t even wiggle. A sad, sad little present, that one…
But I honestly didn’t really care, because for me Chanukah has always been all about the lights. Chanukah is about the victory of a tiny, fragile flame over the forces that seek to snuff it out.
It is therefore the perfect holiday for writers, no matter what their background – our dreams are sparks, and writing itself is a way of shining light into the world. The best presents I’ve ever gotten were in the spirit of that little flame shining in the night.
My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Brady, once gave me a magical Chanukah present – he disguised it as a prize for my writing, and it was one of the most wonderful presents I’ve ever received. He gave me the book BLACK BEAUTY, and called my parents in to the school to tell them I was a born writer. He was the first person to insist I was meant to be a writer, and to this day I am in Mr. Brady’s debt.
That gift has stayed with me forever, not only the book itself, but the generous, loving spirit of its giver, my teacher. My passion for writing was a fitful little ember in those days, and Mr. Brady gave me the gift of seeing that light in me, and encouraging it to shine.
If you have a writer in your life, the best present you could give them is one that fans the flame inside of them to write. Time to write, books, chocolate…anything that celebrates that light’s desire to dance.
I want to pass on that giving spirit. I have a special present for you – a contest! One person will win a copy of the newly-released MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME-TRAVEL ROMANCE, with not eight, or even twelve, but over *twenty* stories of love, powerful enough to defy time and space. I have a story in this collection, “The Walled Garden,” that considers the precious gifts we sometimes give each other without realizing. May you be inspired by these stories to write your own…
All you have to do to win is share in the comments – if you are a writer, what are you hoping to get this holiday season? Or, what was the best present you ever got? Think of it as a public service – there are only four days of Chanukah left, but there’s still plenty of time to get these presents, for yourself or from somebody you love… If you are all out of ideas, just leave a comment and we’ll throw your name in the magic hat.
Thank you for sharing your ideas, and may your holidays be filled with generosity, warmth, laughter, and light!
CHRISTMAS WEEK CONTESTS: Remember, there are TWO ways to win! Each day this week (December 14th - 18th) a guest blogger will give away a signed book to one person randomly chosen from the comment section. Today's prize is THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE, featuring a story by author Michele Lang! Check back in this post tomorrow morning to find out if you are the winner! Look for Michele's upcoming release LADY LAZURUS in 2010.
Also, at the bottom of each post there is a scavenger hunt question. The answer can be located somewhere on the author's website. Send in all 5 correct answers* to the scavenger hunt questions, and you will be entered in a drawing to win a TKA Surprise Christmas Stocking filled with books and holiday treats!!!
SCAVENGER HUNT QUESTION (2 of 5): What is the name of the literary character that Michele says mirrors her own writing style? Visit www.MicheleLang.com to find the answer!
*Please note, that the correct answers to the scavenger hunt questions must be sent in at one time. You must collect all 5 answers and send them in one email. Entries for the scavenger hunt will be accepted from Friday, December 18th thru Sunday, December 20th at midnight. The winner will be announed on this blog Monday, December 21st, 2009. If you have any questions about this contest, please contact contests(AT)knightagency.net.